Source: Randy Southerland, Atlanta Business Chronicle
“Mary Ann Hearn is the ultimate concierge of downtown Atlanta,” said A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress (CAP), echoing a sentiment shared by many throughout the city’s hospitality industry, as well as residents and visitors.
On March 28 at the CAP annual meeting and awards breakfast, Hearn will receive the Turner Community Leadership Award, which celebrates downtown’s “unsung heroes.”
“My job is a constant teaching experience. It’s so interesting to see how, especially since the Olympics, visitors are much more educated about the city,” said Hearn, who has spent 38 years working with the Atlanta Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and other local organizations. “I first noticed a change when people stopped referring to us as ‘Atlanta, Georgia’ and just said ‘Atlanta.’ Now it’s ‘The ATL’ as we keep acquiring more global awareness.”
She arrived in Atlanta after earning a degree in theater at the University of Georgia, and won a spot in the very first company of the Alliance Theatre after its founding in 1968. She also appeared in films, including a role alongside Don Johnson and Nick Nolte in the 1975 Return to Macon County. She had roles in Death Driver (1977) and Grizzly (1976), which required her to be chased through the woods by an 18-foot-tall bear.
“I’m still trying to live that one down,” said Hearn with a laugh.
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